The Norman Transcript

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May 25, 2014

The real heroes

NORMAN — In case you missed it, there were two movies about superheroes on at the Warren Theater recently in Moore.

I’m not sure how well “The Amazing Spider Man 2” and “Captain America: The Winter Solider” did at the box office, I’m sure they did quite well considering the reviews I heard from my 14 year old niece. But in my opinion, on Tuesday morning only a few steps away from the Warren, sat the real heroes. They didn’t have their faces on a big screen and they haven’t been paid millions of dollars. Their superhero capes were invisible, too. They are survivors. They are parents and families who lost loved ones. They are the first responders, city officials and just concerned citizens that leaped tall buildings in a single bound on May 20, 2013.

Tuesday morning as I was sitting at the Moore Medical Center remembrance and groundbreaking ceremony I looked around. The grounds of MMC were covered with people who just generally cared about Moore. One lady sat next to me and told me that she lost her house a year ago. Tough news to swallow on a first meeting. But, she had help. She had a superhero in her life that got her a new home, another rental house, and life, even though it was a little more difficult, was moving on.

She also told of her granddaughter who was at Plaza Towers. Since May 20, the granddaughter has suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Simple rain storms or loud noises, understandably, can set her off into a crying frenzy. It reminded me that some of our biggest superheroes on May 20 were some of the community’s smallest residents.

I’ve heard other stories, too. For me, it has been part of the healing. One business woman who rode the storm out at her office told me that for weeks after the tornado, she picked debris out of her toenails. She now packs another pair of shoes with her during the storm season. Her coworker leaves a bag at her desk now that has boots in it. Just in case. They both learned a lesson that fateful day — sandals and flip flops are not your best friend when traipsing through the muck after a tornado.

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